Sunday, November 16, 2008

I don’t know if it has anything to do with global warming but here in northern New England, albeit near the southern edge of northern New England, we haven’t had a killing frost yet. When we turn on the outside lights at night there are swarms of flying insects within seconds. While we’ve lost some of our most delicate annuals, quite a few remain and are thriving.

The average date for a killing frost here is around October 20th, almost a full month ago. It may finally happen tonight because the temperature has been falling steadily since a high of 68 degrees Saturday night at around ten o’clock. This afternoon we had a classic late autumn day for the Northeast—heavy, rolling clouds racing across the sky on cold, crisp air with blustery gusts that brought down the last of the autumn leaves. The promise is that winter is just about to begin.


You know how every now and then the scrambled letter word verifications actually spell something real? A while ago I left a comment on OF THE KOSMOS (academia, culture, literature, nature, opera) and my word verification test was gaudi. It wasn’t exactly a sign from heaven or anything, but here’s a little bit of Antoni Gaudi’s phenomenal work, just because:

The architect's most iconic work, the unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona

An art nouveau house facade

A cluster of chimney pots inspired by African forms

A phantasmagoric corner in the Sagrada Familia


Not your grandmother’s opera house: The Royal Opera Covent Garden, possibly encouraged by the success of a [partially] nude calendar including noted actress Dame Helen Mirren, decided to release its own calendar with members of the company from all departments baring all. There’s no full frontal for the men, and some artful posing of the women to avoid descending into porn, but these images are a sample of what I believe to be the first nude opera calendar:

It's has become somewhat common to have a mostly or completely nude executioner deliver the severed head of John the Baptist in Strauss's Salome. Here's the gentleman on stage (above) and in the calendar:

An actor/acrobat from the company

American tenor Charles Castronovo is one of the few singers to appear in the calendar. His page doesn't seem to be available on the web but this production publicity image was


Some more images of our time in Copenhagen:

The Rosenborg Castle, repository of the royal treasury and the vault holding the Danish crown jewels. It's 17th century and serves as a record of the country's history as seen in hundreds of paintings and tapestries

An elaborately three dimensional plaster ceiling

Solid gold objects in one of the [many] treasury rooms. Others are devoted to crystal, porcelain, gold and silver plate, etc.

A Danish princeling's playthings--solid gold, rather than common tin, soldiers--regiments of them

The coronation thrones of the King and Queen of Denmark (the lions are silver) . . .

. . . and the crowns

Copenhagen's city hall

Beloved storyteller Hans Christian Anderson in bronze, perpetually gazing at the towers on the gate to the Tivoli Gardens, the city's world famous amusement park

We took the gaudi tour in Barcelona in June. Serge was bordering on orgasm the whole time. That whole building where the african chimney pots are is amazing.
I would love to see Copenhagen. I recall my napropath belief it was the best city in the world.
I want to see the Vikings.
Beautiful photos as always buddy. I live in Europe and you have seen far more of it that me lol
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